Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thy Word


Thy Word
Based on Psalm 119:105 by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid,
And think I’ve lost my way.
Still, you’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet,
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus by my guide,
And hold me to your side,
And I will love you to the end.

Nothing will I fear
As long as you are near;
Please be near me to the end.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.
And a light unto my path.
You’re the light unto my path.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

When your Thanksgiving vacation isn't restful

I sure have been looking forward to this break here at Thanksgiving. Given how late I have been up trying to finish off crafts, I could have used the rest.

However, on Wednesday, I cooked most of the day after gluing a few projects and finishing some things that night.

Thursday, I wanted to crochet more items for the sell, but didn't get too much done. I did go to Office Depot when they opened at 6 PM and bought a laptop which has been my plan ever since the one I bought 2 years ago on Black Friday died a few months ago. We drove by Walmart right at 6, and there was not a parking place to be found, literally. People were parking in all nearby parking lots. I did not get my Door Buster yarn because nothing is worth the mess of all those people at Walmart.

Friday, I tried to crochet all day, but kept getting distracted.

This morning, I got up after about 5 hours sleep to set up for a show that did worse than the last one. (I had to sign-up for another one next weekend to try to clear out more merchandise.)

Right now, I am typing on my new laptop which I just now turned on.

Tomorrow, I need to get my Christmas tree up, and since Thanksgiving fell so late in the month, I may leave it up until New Year's this year in order to have it up for a full month. It's not worth all the effort if it isn't up a month, in my opinion. 

I'm about to log off and go to bed. Not quite as early as I did two weeks ago when I got 11 hours of sleep after a show, but I may get 10. I really miss my sleep and Sunday naps. I have even given up my naps to paint. I've been dedicated, I tell you!





Friday, November 28, 2014

Three nostalgic and heart-warming Christmas stories set during World War II


An interview with Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin
Authors of Where Treetops Glisten

Three of the most beloved Christian authors of World War II-era fiction have come together to gift their readers with the new Christmas release, Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook Press/September 16, 2014/ISBN: 978-1601426482/$14.99).

Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman and Sarah Sundin invite readers to turn back the clock to days gone by as they listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow and get to know the Turner family. Each of the three siblings is forging his or her own path in his or her own love story filled with the wonder of Christmas. Hailing from the heart of America in Lafayette, Indiana, these characters will never be the same as the reality of America’s involvement in World War II hits incredibly close to home.

Q: How did the three of you decide to collaborate on a collection of novellas together?

Cara: I’d written in a couple of novella collections and loved the collaborative aspects. Writing is often solitary, but when you’re working on a collection with other writers, you have fun opportunities to work together. I asked Sarah and Tricia if they’d like to work together because I love their World War II stories, and I love their hearts. I also thought this was a sneaky way to get to know them better. It’s so fun now to have a book we’ve written together!

Tricia: The coolest thing about Cara approaching me is that I highly respect both Cara and Sarah for their writing abilities and their love of World War II. There aren’t many people I know who enjoy both of these passions, just as I do, and it was easy to say YES!

Sarah: When Cara invited me to participate, I was thrilled. We all liked the idea of using one family’s experience over the course of the war to tie the stories together.

Q: What themes run through each of the stories in Where Treetops Glisten to tie the book together?

Sarah: In all three of the stories, someone is overcoming grief or loss, and someone is dealing with regrets of the past. Strong themes of healing and reconciliation and hope run through each story. Giving is also a crucial element, which is appropriate for Christmas stories!

Tricia: I also love the use of Christmas songs from that era. The title, Where Treetops Glisten, may be very familiar to readers. Also each novella is named after a popular Christmas tune from those years!

Q: How did the three of you work together to make sure there was continuity between the three novellas?

Sarah: We started in the brainstorming phase, throwing out character and family ideas and making them mesh. Since I’m the nerdy chart-maker of the trio, I made a timeline and a character chart we could use for reference to keep details straight. Also, we bounced ideas off each other throughout the writing process: “Who would Abigail have in her wedding party?” “Does this sound like something Pete would do?” “What would Merry be feeling at this time?” We shared our rough drafts to make sure the details and personalities rang true. The collaboration was challenging since our stories are more tightly connected than in most novella collections, but it was a lot of fun.

Cara: Sarah is the spreadsheet queen. Seriously! After our conference call, Sarah had character and timeline spreadsheets ready for us. We stayed in contact and used those spreadsheets to keep the details straight.

Tricia: There were also many emails that flew back and forth with questions like, “What year was Pete born again?” and “What was so-and-so doing in 1943?” It was fun figuring out this family and these characters together. And then once we figured out the information, Sarah put it in her spreadsheet!

Q: Each one of the three siblings in the books has to chart his or her own path. How is the love of their family a support system for them, even as they make their own life decisions?

Sarah: Pete’s always seen himself as the black sheep of the Turner family — but as a much-loved black sheep. His family was there for him during his wild youth, and they’re there for him when he returns from his combat tour drained of hope and joy. They offer wisdom and humor and encouragement.

Cara: Abigail has keenly felt the shortness and unpredictability of life. Because of it, she’s afraid to chase her dreams or really dare to dream. Her family provides the support and stability to try even when life is something she can’t safely manage.

Tricia: Meredith (Merry) is the wanderer. She is the one who moved to Florida to attend nursing school as soon as she graduated from high school. She’s the baby of the family, and she’s always tried to prove herself. Yet as the years go by, and as Merry finds herself serving as a nurse in Netherlands, she realizes the place she wants to be the most is home — back with the family she loves.

Q: The three novellas are all titled after a Christmas song that became popular during World War II. Can you share a little of the history behind the songs and how they became a part of the book?

Sarah: Since so many great Christmas songs debuted during World War II (“White Christmas” in 1942, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in 1943, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944), I’ve often thought those songs would be a fun way to connect a novella collection, so I suggested it to Cara and Tricia, and they liked it too.

Cara: I loved the idea of using the Christmas carols to connect the stories. So many of those songs are a big part of Christmas even today! But we still had to figure out the rest. Christmas carols alone wouldn’t be enough for three stories to come to life. Once we were all on board, we had a conference call to figure out the rest.

Tricia: I used my song title, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as an inspiration for my character too. I have a friend named Merry who was born on Christmas . . . so I used that for my novella! Meredith is nicknamed Merry, and her name plays into the story; that song makes its way into the novella too!

Q: World War II was a tumultuous, uncertain time. Why pick that era as the backdrop for a Christmas story?

Tricia: I love World War II, and I always loved chatting with Sarah and Cara about World War II. Our purpose is to remind readers of the importance of family, of home and of togetherness. Even in a time of war we can remain strong because of the love of God and the love of those we serve.

Sarah: Because World War II was so tumultuous, I think Christmas became more important. In the Christmas songs of the era, you hear a wistful nostalgia for white Christmases, for home, for mistletoe kisses, for merriness, for a time when your troubles would be out of sight. The holiday reminded people of home and hearth — exactly what they were fighting for.

Q: What sparked your interest in this particular historical time period?

Cara: I love the way this particular generation came together in a big way to fight a world-size problem. Everybody made sacrifices — sacrifices of even the most basic ‘needs’ like coffee and sugar. And everyone did it. If you talk to members of this generation today, they still insist they didn’t do anything special — yet I think it was heroic.

Tricia: I first became interested in World War II while traveling in Europe with two friends. We went to Mauthausen concentration camp, and I was overwhelmed with the stories. I ended up interviewing more than 100 World War II veterans, and then I started writing World War II novels. It’s been a passion of mine ever since I stepped in that concentration camp. I’ve written other genres, but deep in my heart I’m thankful to be back writing about World War II!

Q: What kind of research did you do before writing your story?

Cara: Because I live in Lafayette, I didn’t have to travel anywhere for research. I already had a friend’s house in mind I thought was the perfect home for this family. Still I had to research details like where the heroine worked, how McCord’s/Glatz makes candy canes, etc.

Sarah: For me, this was a refreshing change. I usually have to do great gobs of rather technical research, but not for this story. I already had a good base of Home Front research, so I just had to research Lafayette — and that was fascinating.

Tricia: Since my novella takes place in Belgium I studied a lot about the field hospitals at the time and the nurses. I also have a friend who lives in Netherlands who shared her uncle’s story with me. He died as part of the resistance. I’m thankful for the foundation I had of my other World War II novels. I enjoyed building upon that.

Q: Did any of you have a special tie to the book’s setting, Lafayette, Indiana?

Cara: Well, I actually live in Lafayette. One of my very good friends owns a historic home near downtown Lafayette, and I’ve known for years it would be the perfect home for a heroine. So when we set the book in Lafayette, I asked Ann if we could use her home. Since I wasn’t sure if anyone else would get to come to town to visit, I sketched out the floor plan and uploaded it to Pinterest so Sarah and Tricia could refer to it — reinforcing why I went to law school and not art school!

Sarah: Oh, my favorite part! I had the privilege of spending a couple of days in Lafayette, staying with the delightful Putman family. Cara — and her four children! — took me all around town. One of Cara’s friends graciously loaned us her home to serve as the Turner home, and she let us traipse through, sketching floor plans and taking pictures. We visited the Alcoa plant, the bridge over the Wabash and the charming downtown area. Driving around the area where I knew Grace would live, we saw the cutest Victorian — for sale! Since I figured they wanted people to look inside, I walked all around, peeked in the windows and took dozens of photos. I also spent a few hours at the local library going through 1943 phone books and newspapers — a treasure trove. And of course, we had to sample the wares at McCord’s!

Tricia: I was honored to travel to Lafayette to speak at a banquet, and Cara was a wonderful hostess while I was in town. We toured downtown and visited McCord Candies (and grabbed a soda there!), and we also visited some antique shops, which really gave me a feel for the area. Cara drove me around to see the home of the characters in the book. It was a delight to see the town come to life!

Q: Each of the characters in this book has to overcome not only personal obstacles, but also cultural conditions he or she has no control over. What lessons can we learn for our own times from their stories?

Tricia: The issue of “cultures” comes up strongly in my novel. Before the war, Meredith had fallen in love with a man from Germany. After Pearl Harbor, he abandoned her and returned to Germany, breaking her heart. Old and new feelings crash within her as their unit prepares to enter Germany. Meredith also cares for German soldiers who are brought into their field unit.

The lessons I hope the reader walks away with is that our nationality is only a part of who we are. Our family situations, and our faith, also make us who we are.

Q: Even just looking at the cover makes the reader want to curl up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. What did you do to get in the Christmas spirit as you penned your story?

Cara: I visited McCord’s and watched the staff make candy canes. I also listened to a lot of Christmas carols.

Sarah: That was challenging since I wrote the novella in the summer. In California. But I had brainstormed and outlined the complete story at Christmastime the year before when I was in the Christmas mood. While writing the rough draft, I just had to think cold. And I did hum “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” while I wrote.

Tricia: I listened to wonderful Christmas music on Spotify, and I turned up the air conditioning!

Q: One thread that ties all of the stories together is the siblings’ grandmother. What do they learn from her lessons of wisdom and faith that help develop their own choices?

Cara:  Grandma was such fun to write! She was feisty but with a deep love for her family. She provides the perspective of time and experience to each of the siblings — yet in a different way to reflect their unique journeys.

Tricia: I loved including a “grandma” in the story since my Grandma lives with me. I love the unconditional love and snippets of wisdom that come from the older generation.

Q: What is it about the Christmas season that engenders such a strong feeling of warmth and love?

Cara: There’s a freshness and sense of wonder to Christmas. The idea that God would send His son to earth as a newborn is an incredibly humbling thought. There’s also the cleanness of fresh-fallen snow that always makes me think of what Christ did on Calvary. Combine that with great music, tradition and the love of family, and it becomes a magical time where almost anything seems possible.

Learn more about the authors!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Can’t-Miss Black Friday Deal from Adventures in Odyssey

oacbf 
Christmas time is nearly here, and the excitement is in the air. But rather than waking up before the sun on Black Friday or having to fight the massive crowds, you could get a special present for your kids or grandkids from Adventures in Odyssey: a subscription to their online Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC)! Offering 24/7 access to 25 years’ worth of Adventures in Odyssey episodes, the club is a safe and fun environment where children can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith and learning biblical truth.

When you sign up between 11/26 and 12/1 (promo code: BLKFRDAY) not only will you receive a special introductory price of $5.00 for your first month of club membership, you’ll also receive a special gift worth $50, including:
  • Imagination Station #12: Danger on A Silent Night book (mailed to you in December)
  • A Family Christmas Volume 1 of Timeless Classics on CD (mailed to you in December)
  • Radio Theatre: A Christmas Carol digital download
  • Radio Theatre: Traveling Home For Christmas digital download
  • 101 Surefire Ways To Strengthen Your Child’s Faith ebook
Membership provides:
  • 24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
  • A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine delivered to your mailbox.
  • A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month's episode.
  • On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
  • Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.
A portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner relief organizations such as Operation Christmas Child and Compassion International, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of giving and serving others. 

This Christmas, give a present that will not only entertain throughout the year, but will provide a lifelong spiritual foundation.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quilts of Love authors celebrate latest releases with a Christmas-themed chat



Nothing beats a Christmas party you don’t have to get dressed up for! Readers are invited to grab their quilts and a mug of their favorite warm holiday beverage and settle down for a night in with the authors of the latest releases in Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series. The Quilts of Love Merry Quilted Christmas Facebook party on December 9 at 8:00 PM EST will be hosted by the authors of the two latest releases, Jodie Bailey (Quilted by Christmas/October 21, 2014) and Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven (Swept Away/November 18, 2014). They will be joined by Gina Welborn (Masterpiece Marriage/December 16, 2014) and Cathy Elliott (A Stitch in Crime/January 20, 2015), who will be giving readers a preview of their upcoming books.

The live Quilts of Love quarterly event will center on an interactive chat between the authors and readers, allowing participants from around the country (and the world) to participate in one large book club. The authors will share the inspiration behind their stories and ask discussion questions surrounding the themes of each book. Chat participants will be eligible for prizes to be given away at the end of the hour, including books, Christmas ornaments, sweet treats and other special selections chosen by the authors. The winner of a Kindle Fire giveaway, held in conjunction with the latest Quilts of Love blog tour, will also be announced. The chat has been promoted online with the help of bloggers participating in the blog tours coordinated by Litfuse Publicity Group.

It isn’t just the readers who are excited to take part in these chats. “I’m looking forward to teaming up with Laura, Cindy, Cathy and Gina to chat with everyone and to give away some fun prizes.  Who doesn’t love a party, especially when there are presents?” asks Bailey.

The authors are also fans of the series and its authors. “I’m in stitches over being a Quilts of Love author!” Welborn notes. Loven feels the same way. “The word ‘excitement’ doesn’t begin to cover the range of emotions I am experiencing being included in this great group of authors. I wouldn’t be here without my great co-author Laura, talent of this story, and Jodie’s book was so sweet. I look forward with great anticipation to reading Gina and Cathy’s books.”

“I’m excited to be a part of the Quilts of Love series with so many talented authors. I wanted to be a part of this line and was honored to write for them,” explains Hilton. She adds, “Any opportunity to chat with readers and hear their stories is a blessing, and I hope to see many there!”

The Quilts of Love series centers on the idea that quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. Each release focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family history. Featuring contemporary and historical romances, as well as Amish fiction, women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery, readers are drawn into the endearing characters and touched by their stories. January 2015 will mark the last monthly release for the current series of 25 stand-alone titles.

"The best reward for a Quilts of Love author has to be meeting the loyal readers,” says Elliott. “As the author of the final book in the series, I look forward to meeting many long-time readers and some new ones! It’s a great way to hear about their creative interests and get a glimpse into their own stories."

Readers can RSVP to the Facebook chat any time between now and December 9 by visiting the Quilts of Love Facebook page. All fans are encouraged to invite their friends to join in the fun.

Keep up with the Quilts of Love series online at:


About the authors and their books:

Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey (October)

A grandmother’s last wish is to communicate God’s love through an Irish chain quilt.

Taryn McKenna believes she’s easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree—something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middleschoolers she teaches.

When Taryn’s grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project—an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?

Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to Edie Melson’s devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle‑schoolers to love writing as much as she does.

Readers can find Bailey at JodieBailey.com or on Facebook (JodieBaileyAuthor) and Twitter (@jodiebailey).


Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven (November)

Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.

Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.

Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.

Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Hilton’s online home is lauravhilton.blogspot.com. She is also on Facebook (Author-Laura-V-Hilton) and Twitter (@Laura_V_Hilton).

Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.

Loven blogs at cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com and can be found on Twitter (cndloven).


Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn (December)

He wants to save his business. She wants to be a professor. But are they asking for more than they can really have?

After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane’s Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs.

Eager to acquire his aunt’s quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him.

Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn’t mean sacrificing her ambition?

Gina Welborn is the author of several novels and novellas, including The Heiress’s Courtship. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers; the president of Faith, Hope and Love; and one of the founding members of InkwellInspirations.com. She lives in Cache, Oklahoma, with her pastor husband and their five children.

Visit her Welborn online at GinaWelborn.com and on Facebook (ginawelbornauthor) and Twitter (@gina_welborn).


A Stitch in Crime by Cathy Elliott (January)

Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel.

Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respect quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of the missing diamonds or their mugged mother?

When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist have is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the Quilt Show before Mary-Alice gets another brain bump… or something worse.

Author and speaker Cathy Elliott nourishes her night-owl habit by creating cozy mysteries and more on her trusty laptop in Anderson, California. Like the protagonist in her new mystery, Cathy is an avid quilter. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antique treasures.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fire Up the Romance this Holiday with @RobinLeeHatcher’s “Love Without End” Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Fire up the romance this holiday with Robin Lee Hatcher's latest offering in the King's Meadow Romance series, Love Without EndFor two single parents with bruised hearts, it’ll take more than a little courage to get back on the horse when it comes to love.

Celebrate love rising from the ashes of tragedy with Robin by entering her Kindle Fire giveaway.

lovewithoutend-400

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Love Without End and the rest of the King's Meadow Romance series from Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 14th. Winner will be announced December 15th on Robin's blog.

lovewithoutend-enterbanner
{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}


Love without end

{More about Love Without End}


A King's Meadow Romance (Thomas Nelson, November 2014) 

Chet and Kimberly have both failed when it comes to love. Will they risk their hearts to love again? 

Chet Leonard's life was forever changed when his 17-year-old son died and then, soon after, his wife walked out on their family. Over two years later, all he wants to do is hold onto his horse ranch and raise his remaining sons to be honorable men. Kimberly Welch, widowed mother of Tara, a rebellious 15-year-old, has reached the end of her finances and nearly the end of her rope. She and Tara come to King's Meadow to try to piece their lives back together again. 

Kimberly has no intention of becoming involved with the residents of this remote mountain community and certainly not with any man. When octogenarian Anna McKenna returns to King's Meadow and to the Leonard ranch, she becomes an agent of change and healing for the two hurting families. With her help, Kimberly and Chet may discover that true love has no end. 


Robin Lee Hatcher


{More About Robin Lee Hatcher}

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels. 

Find out more about Robin at http://robinleehatcher.com

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quilts of Love | SWEPT AWAY – Kindle Giveaway & “Merry Quilted” Facebook Party!

Don’t miss the newest Quilts of Love book, Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven. November’s QOL release is a spark of romance and fun just in time for the holidays.

Enter to win a Kindle HDX, and RSVP for the “Merry Quilted” Quilts of Love Facebook party on December 9th. 


qol-sweptaway2-400

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
  • Hidden in the Stars by Robin Caroll
  • Quilted by Christmas by Jodie Bailey
Enter today by clicking the button below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 9th. Winner will be announced during the "Merry Quilted" Christmas Facebook party on December 9th. RSVP today and connect with some of the Quilts of Love authors (Jodie Bailey, Laura V. Hilton, Cindy Loven, Cathy Elliott, and Gina Welborn) for a "merry" evening of book chat, Christmas traditions, prizes, and more!

qol-sweptaway-enterbanner
{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on December 9th!

Swept Away cover

{MORE ABOUT QOL SWEPT AWAY}


New from Abingdon Press’ Quilts of Love series 
Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.
Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.

L. Hilton / C. Loven

{MORE ABOUT Laura v. HILTON and Cindy LOVEN}


Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. 
Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kum Bah Ya


Kum Ba Yah
new version 

Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Kum Ba Yah my LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus
Singin’ rain, storm, fire, wind,
Kum Ba Yah
Rain, storm, fire, wind,
Kum Ba Yah

Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s praying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus

Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s singing LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus

Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.
Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah,
Somebody’s crying LORD, Kum Ba Yah.

Chorus

Come by here my LORD, come by here,
Come by here my LORD, come by here.
Come by here my LORD, come by here,
Come by here my LORD, come by here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

This is now my life

I sure hope we sell lots of Christmas trees and Christmas balls next weekend, because this has become my life!

Dad and I kind of tricked Mom into coming over Thursday night. Maybe Dad tricked me too. I told him I was going to crochet while watching my TGIT shows (Grey's Anatomy and Scandal). He was going to come over to paint, and bring Mom along to watch TV.

We all ended up painting for 3 hours.

Earlier today Paige came over and painted for a while. Dad stayed most of the day. Rakia is coming down tomorrow, and is going to help some too.

I STILL NEED to crochet more because I have orders and I know others want headbands.

And yes, I need to crop my pictures to get my feet out of them and rotate them. Time is not on my side.







Friday, November 21, 2014

Dr. Klaus-Deiter John tells of trusting God to help the people of Peru

An interview with Klaus-Dieter John,
Author of I Have Seen God 

Imagine being medically trained at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world — Harvard and Yale — and turning your back on a lucrative medical career in private practice to care for the poor. As Klaus-Dieter John writes in his book, I Have Seen God (Monarch Books/November 27, 2014/ISBN: 978-0857215741/$16.99), it was a dream he and his wife, Martina, shared since before they met.

I Have Seen God tells of how the Johns were able to follow their dream to open a first-rate medical facility for the Indians of the Peruvian Andes, some of the world’s poorest people. The hospital’s name, Diospi Suyana, means “we trust in God” in Quechua, the native language of the people it serves. It is a testament to their experience that with God the impossible can happen.

Q: Tell us how you came to titling your book, I Have Seen God.

When I was a student some of my friends were atheists. After some of my long discussions with them, I would wonder whether God was real or if it was just wishful thinking on my part. There were also times when I felt afraid of death. One night I walked across a field. It was so dark and the wind was blowing, and I just shouted at the top of my voice, “God, where are you?  I want to see you!” In the history of our hospital, God has answered my prayer and become very visible to me and to hundreds of thousands of people who have heard the story.

Q: What led you into the medical profession? Have you always wanted to be a doctor?

As a teenager I read books by Paul White, an Australian doctor who served in Africa for two years and later went on to publish books on his experience as a “jungle doctor.”  I was inspired by what he wrote and wanted to lead the kind of interesting and adventurous life he led as well.

Q: How did you meet your wife? How did you know you were meant to be married and serve together?

I met my wife when I was 17 and she was 16. Both of us shared exactly the same vision for our future: We wanted to get the best medical training available and then work as missionary doctors for the rest of our lives.
At the time, I had been elected president of our high school, and she was a leader of a group of girls at the school. It was through our interactions there that we fell in love. We also led a youth group together at our church and both studied medicine at Mainz University.

Q: Both you and your wife have medical training from some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Why did you decide to use your expertise to serve the poor?

There are so many great medical needs worldwide, but only a few doctors invest their entire lives to helping the less fortunate. As a matter of fact, statistics show there are only about 1,000 doctors who work as career missionaries, relying totally on incoming donations. In Europe and the U.S. there are approximately 5 million doctors total. So 1,000 is hardly anything compared to the need.

My time spent at Harvard University’s Massachusetts General Hospital and Yale University as a surgical resident opens doors for me when I travel around the world to share our testimony. For instance, I frequently have the opportunity to speak at secular universities, companies and charity organizations. Some people will take me more seriously when I talk about my faith in Jesus Christ if they know I’ve had success in the secular/academic circles from which they come.

Q: Can you share more about the situation in Peru and why such a large segment of the population is vastly ignored and without healthcare?

Thirty million people live in Peru, and half of them are indigenous. These people, called the Quechua, are the descendants of the ancient Incas. They have been neglected and exploited for centuries and have a reduced life expectancy. The majority of them lives in adobe (clay) houses and are many times without window glass, running water, electricity or a sewage system. This clearly impacts their health and longevity.  

Q: What does the name of your hospital, Diospi Suyana, mean?

In Quecha, Diospi Suyana means “we trust in God” or “God is waiting for you.” Two interpretations of that expression are possible. Both of them express the intentions of the ministry.

Q: How does the mission hospital care for the needs of the people in Peru? How many people do you help on a regular basis?

The Diospi Suyana Hospital is certainly among the best-equipped mission hospitals in the country, and it is quite comparable to a modern hospital in the U.S. or Europe.

So far, we have treated 140,000 patients who have come from all 25 states of Peru. Currently, there are twelve doctors working at the hospital. We could see many more patients if only we had more doctors.

This year, we can treat up to 150 patients per day in the western treatment style, which consists of CT scans, endoscopy, digital X- ray, ICU, sophisticated lab facilities, etc. Our patients contribute only 20 percent to our annual budget. The other 80 percent of our budget comes from donations.

Q: What spiritual aspects do you bring to the medical care?

We start every morning at the hospital with a church service. Since we opened seven years ago, we’ve celebrated 1,600 church services. We teach the patients who attend that despite the best medical care, we are destined to lose the fight against physical death eventually. Only Jesus Christ, who walked out of His tomb three days after being crucified, can offer us eternal life. Almost all of our patients have seen the popular Jesus Film in our waiting room.

Q: What led you to write a book about the founding and continuing mission of Diospi Suyana?

The book was first published in Germany, which, along with the rest of Europe, is really a postmodern and post-Christian culture. In Western Europe only 4 percent of people go to church. I wanted to share with the world the story of Diospi Suyana because it shows non-Christians evidence that God is real. It also encourages Christians of all denominations and nationalities you can experience God even in a globalized world driven by money and power.

Q: I Have Seen God was first published in Germany and became a bestseller there. What made you want to bring this message to America? There’s a special story behind the translation of the book. Please share the story with us.

Despite of its admittedly strange title, it has sold tens of thousands of copies since it was released in 2010 in the German book market, which is a small market compared to the U.S.

One morning, I was sitting in my office and thought it would be so nice to publish the book in English so we could bring its message to the English-speaking world. I remembered an English lady who had helped us years ago with some translations for our webpage. I sent her an email inquiring as to whether she was aware of my book and, if so, whether she would consider helping with a translation.

Meanwhile, unknown to me, she was in her house more than 8,000 miles away, looking at a copy of I Have Seen God she had bought for a friend sitting on her desk. She suddenly thought an English translation would be an excellent idea. She stopped what she was doing and prayed about it. The next time she turned on her computer, she discovered my email asking her to help me. She did the whole work free of charge. When I gave my first public presentation on our story in England recently, she was present, which was very meaningful. 

Q: There are many books out there about the amazing work missionaries are doing around the world. What makes I Have Seen God different?

That may be true in the U.S., but in Europe there are hardly any books on the market with stories like that of I Have Seen God. The dominant feeling is “mission books” don’t sell. Because of this, I wanted the book to have wide appeal so it can be read and understood by someone who perhaps has never been to church, as well as a Christian who might need encouragement in his or her faith, or just to learn what God is doing in Peru through Diospi Suyana.

I have heard stories of people in Europe using the book to share the Gospel message with their non-Christian friends and colleagues.

Q: You had quite the battle to fight, overcoming government regulations.  What were some of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome?

In June 2006, the Peruvian Ministerio de Cultura (Ministry of Culture) enforced an immediate halt to construction, claiming we hadn’t obtained all the required licenses. The penalty was set at $700,000, a sum that could have put the whole Diospi Suyana organization under. Through mysterious ways, my wife and I received an invitation to the office of the Peruvian First Lady, Mrs. Pilar Nores de Garcia in July. By the time, our 70-minute presentation about Diospi Suyana was over, the Peruvian First Lady had decided to become our sponsor. As soon as this news became public, the Ministry of Culture withdrew all their charges against our organization.

Then in January 2013 we wanted to import brand new materials for our dental lab worth up to $117,000. The shipment was blocked in customs for some very shady reasons. Eventually we asked for help through our website, and within days about 4,000 emails from 20 countries were sent personally to the Peruvian Secretary of Health, and a secular TV-channel and two leading newspapers wrote stories about what was happening. Eventually customs gave in, and our supplies were delivered.

Q: You have raised millions of dollars to do this work. How did you do it?

So far, I have given just more than 1,900 hundred presentations in 19 different countries about the work we do at Diospi Suyana. Neither I nor my wife ever asks for money when we speak. We simply share our story, pack our bags and say goodbye. I also always pray before I get up to speak to a crowd that God will use my presentation for His purposes. And I share the same story everywhere I go — whether it’s a secular or Christian audience. God has blessed this approach abundantly.

To date, our ministry has received more than $21 million in cash donations and medical equipment. Two-thirds of these gifts have come from private individuals, and the other third has been donated from 180 companies from around the world, including the U.S., Mexico, Peru, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and many more countries.

In Germany 25 percent of the overall population has seen, read or heard about our ministry through TV, printed press and radio interviews we’ve done. We’ve been blessed with media coverage in 15 countries. In October last year I gave the main lecture at the inauguration of the 4th World Congress of Pediatric Surgery. There were doctors from every continent present.  I concluded my 20-minute message with this statement:

“This evening, there are Hindus, Muslims and Christians, agnostics and atheists gathered in this congress centre. I have the greatest respect for your beliefs and convictions, but if you were to ask me how I personally explain the astounding development of Diospi Suyana, I would tell you I am sure it was God. It was His work. It was the power of Jesus Christ!”

Q: What do you hope readers will take away with them after reading I Have Seen God?

I hope they will walk away with a new or renewed sense that God is real, that it is worthwhile to pray to Him, and that as Christians we can be very outspoken about our faith even to non-Christians because there is nothing better than to share the Gospel.

For more information about Klaus-Dieter John and the work of the Diospi Suyana Hospital, visit www.diospi-suyana.de.